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A winglet of TAP Air Portugal

Review: TAP Air Portugal Economy Class

  • By Finnoy Travel
  • June 25, 2020

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TAP Air Portugal

TAP Air Portugal is the flag carrier of Portugal. The airline was founded in 1945 and now it is a member of the biggest airline alliance in the world, Star Alliance. TAP Air Portugal (TP) also has codeshare agreements with about 30 other airlines. TAP Air Portugal flies domestic routes inside Portugal and international flights across Europe, America and Africa. With about 90 planes in the fleet, TAP is a medium-sized European airline with a respected brand.

TAP operates only Airbus fleet. Short-haul routes are operated with the Airbus A320 series and longer flights with Airbus A330. TAP is a pure Airbus company.

TAP Express

TAP Air Portugal has also a regional airline called TAP Express. It operates only short and medium-haul routes. The airline flies with ATR turboprops and Embraer turbofans.

TAP Air Portugal planes in Lisbon
Lisbon is the other hub of TAP Air Portugal and TAP Express.

TAP Cabin Classes

There is a business class in TAP's aircraft. In this review, we concentrate only on the economy class.

Economy class tickets are divided into four price classes with different service levels. Economy class seats are also divided into two areas: the normal economy class seats and EconomyXtra seats.

EconomyXtra seats are coloured red and they are located just behind the business class. These seats are more spacious, they have USB charging sockets and a reclining seat.

The normal economy class is behind the EconomyXtra. Seats there are coloured green and they are missing the extra features that EconomyXtra seats have. Onboard meals are usually simpler than in EconomyXtra.

With the cheapest tickets, you will end up with a traditional economy class seat. With a more expensive ticket, an EconomyXtra seat may be yours. EconomyXtra seats are available only in Airbus A330 and Airbus A321neo planes. In other aircraft types, all economy seats are similar except that there are a few more spacious seats around the emergency exits.

Services in Economy Class

The cheapest economy class ticket does not include hold luggage. Only standard sized carry-on luggage with a maximum weight of 8kKg is allowed. A more expensive economy ticket includes 23 kg hold luggage. The same rules apply to domestic and international flights.

TAP still serves meals and drinks even in the economy class. On short routes, the meal means a simple snack. When the route gets longer, the snack may be a hot or a cold meal. On EconomyXtra seats, the meal is better. The drink selection includes soft drinks, beer and wine.

Our Flight from Lisbon to Ponta Delgada

In February 2020, we flew from Lisbon to Ponta Delgada with TAP Air Portugal. We boarded a brand new Airbus A321neo. The cabin had a business class and an economy class. The economy class was divided into two sections: The red EconomyXtra area and the green area - economy class. We sat in the normal economy class while we were flying with discounted tickets.

Lisbon and a winglet
After the take off from Lisbon, we headed right away to the Atlantic.

The whole cabin was almost empty. Only about 30% of the seats were taken. The flight departed on time and it also arrived in Ponta Delgada on schedule. The flight was eventless.

The cabin of Airbus A321 of TAP
During our flight, the cabin was almost empty.

How to Find an Inexpensive Flight?

Follow our simple checklist to find a good deal:

  • Compare flight prices on Skyscanner on different dates.
  • Choose the most suitable schedule and price.
  • Decide whether to book directly from the airline or from an Online Travel Agence (OTA)
  • Let Skyscanner to forward you to the chosen booking site.
  • Go through the booking process and avoid buying unnecessary extras.
  • Double check all the details CAREFULLY before the payment.


Check-in and boarding

The ground crew handled the boarding process fast. People were shared in four queues and those who had only a small bag were allowed to board first. The onboard crew were friendly and efficient.


The cabin of the Airbus A321neo looked very clean and stylish. The nice use of red and green colours on the seats made the cabin look fresh. Legroom in the normal economy class is not big but it was enough for us.

The cabin of TAP Air Portugal Airbus A321neo
TAP Air Portugal has decorated the cabins with green and red colours.

Onboard Services and Entertainment

We were offered soft drinks, tea and coffee and a small bag of chips. Also complimentary alcohol was available. Passengers in the EconomyXtra had a better serving. In the era of low-cost airlines, it is always nice to have complimentary onboard services.

The meal in the economy class of TAP Air Portugal
TAP served chips, coke and tea free of charge.

Airbus A321neo didn't have onboard entertainment systems nor WiFi. Airbus A321LR and A330neo have them. TAP Portugal magazine was available.

Ticket Price

Our ticket was affordable costing less than 50 euros per person. According to our investigation, the price level of TAP Air Portugal is competitive. Tickets also give value for the money.

Overall Rating

A short-haul flight in the economy class of TAP Air Portugal was a great experience. Our tickets were affordable but we got into a brand new plane. It was stylishly decorated and the crew behaved professionally. Also, complimentary drinks and snacks were served. We were pleased with the price-quality ratio on these flights and plan to fly TAP again in the future. In other words, we can recommend flying with this airline.

Bottom Line

TAP Air Portugal is a good choice if you are flying between Europe and South America or around Southwest Europe. The company has many well-equipped new aircraft in the fleet. Especially the new neo fleet (A321neo and A330neo) can be recommended. They are comfortable and the cabins look nice.

Have you flown with TAP Air Portugal? Comment below how you felt it!

Tags: , ,
Destination: Portugal

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Readers' Comments (22)

  1. 05-02-2021 at 2:47pm UTC by Tomasz :

    Never use TAP. They're frequent liers!

    I tried to rebook my family flight before the departure by calling TAP. Nobody was answering. I tried to do it through their website - not working, showing error messages after every attempt.

    Finally after 1,5h I managed to contact the company. 1000 EUR additional costs - I was lied by the consultant about fare difference price which was bigger comparing to the offer available at their website. I hang up to see if I can afford it and decided to call them back and rebook.

    This time it was already 1300 EUR because they added no-show fee. All of this after they were not picking up the phone and website was not working. No show? Yeah, right. They blamed me for trying to rebook late (I have a full right to do it!). They didn't take any responsibility for the website which is not working. Blamed me for it!

    One of the passengers was denied boarding so they said that this is a reason why they counted is as no show. So why they wanted to charge all passengers no-show fees? They didn't know and couldn't recall specific regulation for this in fare rules. Great, huh?

    I thought - ok, I really need this flight to happen. Even if I got cheated I decided to pay and later sort this out in the court. After another hours of calling (over 6h total!) they closed customer service phoneline. In meantime they hanged up twice.

    Next day I called at 8am. The price was 1700 EUR already, What's more the consultant told me that only the first offer didn't include the no-show fees and after I rejected it the next ones had to include it. Another LIE. I never rejected the offer - I needed to check if I can afford it. I was also not told by Mrs. Fernanda Ferreira that if I hang up I'll have to pay more.

    To sum it up: I got lied to multiple times, cheated and additionally because of it I have to rebook my personal flight which costed me about 220 EUR.

    Never trust TAP, based on my experience they can lie, cheat and make you're TAP experience really unforgettable. I have no words! Try to explain 4 year old that his dream holidays are not going to happen. AVOID THIS AIRLINE IF POSSIBLE. Customer service is way worse than Ryanair (at least they speak good English).

    1. 03-13-2022 at 6:22pm UTC by Alexandra Pedzinski :

      My experience with this airline has been a true tragedy that has probably taken years off my life and I am shaking even as I type this. I purchased a flight before COVID and the trip was cancelled due to the pandemic. I am still trying to get my almost $1,000 refund for that flight. I am a nursing student on a limited budget and these people should be in jail for how they treat their customers. When I call, I am placed on hold for a good 2 hours, speak with someone that half the time is totally rude (even when they hear me cry on the other end), and nothing gets resolved. I am so upset that I feel like all I can do is write these reviews to warn other people never to use this airline.

  2. 04-18-2021 at 7:58pm UTC by Tiago Ferreira :

    Do not fly with Tap airlines. I booked a flight late 2019 so that me and my family could fly from Canada to Portugal August 2020. The pandemic hit and we tried to get a refund but had to settle for a voucher or we would lose our money. My voucher will expire June 2021. I called for an extension and was told they will not give me an extension and if I don't use the voucher then I loose my money.

  3. 04-11-2021 at 10:35am UTC by Bruno Alves :

    Every single airline company had problems with the covid, they suffered and they will suffer with the business cut, so sometimes the customer service can be affected by the circumstances. I've used tap many times in the past and never had a single problem and I think it's a very reliable and safe company. My parents they do not fly with other than tap.

    1. 04-12-2021 at 9:58am UTC by Finnoy Travel :

      Thank you for the comment. Well said, COVID has caused many challenges to the airlines.

  4. 03-07-2021 at 8:51pm UTC by G Evora :

    TAP has to be one of the most horrible airlines and no wonder their reviews are horrible as well! My aunt was scheduled to come to America from Portugal but had to switch her flight in November 2020 and March 2021 due to United States borders only being open for citizens and aliens. My aunt was charged about 300 each time the flight was changed which is ludicrous. I contacted TAP and questioned about the charge since there isn’t a way for her to visit US and the agent was not helpful and when asked to speak with a supervisor he said there’s no way that can be done! TAP do better because without your consumer you are NOTHING!

  5. 03-07-2021 at 1:19am UTC by Arthur Verrill :

    Booked last February,2019 for October trip to Lisbon from Miami. Covid lock- down.Unable to go. Got a TAP credit of only 50% of flights.Aprox, $700.00 from the 1,500 I spent. Must rebook by September of this year for travel within a year. Horrible contact experience like others mentioned to even get the credit that I did get.Website is Horrible to Navigate. I will use the credit and go to Portugal. But I'll never use this airline after. Shame on them for taking advantage of people during this pandemic.

  6. 02-06-2021 at 5:49pm UTC by mostafa :

    the problem with TAP, there is no way contacting client services on the phone from canada orUSA. the posted numbers to call never go through. My ante canceled her flight last August bkz of COVID travelling restrictions. she got am email that a voucher will be emailed to her, till now she hasen't received the voucher nor we could get in touch with TAP client service. I won't recommend dealing with TAP from canada or USA.

  7. 01-14-2021 at 12:39pm UTC by Adriana :

    It may have been a good company while things were good. But let's be real. They have shown their true colors during the pandemic. They took my money, changed my flight, and when I asked for a refund they promised one. 6 months later, they still haven't returned my money. They give a scripted answer and then ignore all other messages. I have now flagged them as scams and fraud on all my credit cards. Because that's what they did. They are breaking the law.

  8. 12-21-2020 at 6:01pm UTC by Joaquim Pires :

    I was flighting from Newark to Lisbon on 12/16/20 on flight 204 I purchase a ticket on the internet on they had the flight with Tap air lines from Newark to Lisbon when I purchase the tickets and then tells me the flight was from Newark to Dublin I realized then that it was crazy so I call Kiwi. com they told me to call TAP air because it was only allowed 2 bags I spoke with 5 different people from TAP and all told to get to the airport and pay for 2 extra suit cases when I got to the airport they make me pay 2 other new tickets otherwise the suit cases will go to Dublin ! Never again!

  9. 12-10-2020 at 6:33pm UTC by Gloria :

    Never ever book with this airlines. We had a flight scheduled with Tap Portugal in October 1 2020. They changed our flight by 4 days which would not coincide with our travel planes. You cannot get a hold of them and they will not refund our money. EXPEDIA WHO we booked through tells us they can only email them and are not able to call them either. We are out $2400 for a trip they did not give us as booked. They have had our money since November of 2019. I am beyond upset. I want money back soon or I am going to contact an attorney. What kind of company does this to people. A terrible one that's what kind.i will never use Expedia or Tap air Portugal ever again. Too bad for them because I go to Europe very often. Their loss

    1. 12-12-2020 at 1:00pm UTC by Finnoy Travel :

      Hi Gloria,

      We are very sorry to hear about this incidence. We understand well how this is so upsetting for you. We recommend you to contact your country's Consumer Advisory Services office to seek help. This is always our next step if concerned airline fails to cooperate in addressing our concerns. We wish you that you have it resolved.

  10. 11-19-2020 at 5:39pm UTC by RO :

    Avoid booking with this company at all costs and if you have to make sure you take out a good travel insurance, we were not able to reach our departure airport due to covid lockdown, this company’s solution to this was to mark us as ‘no shows’ and tell us we were not entitled to any flight changes as a result ..... in the middle of a global pandemic surely ‘normal rules’ don’t apply and assistance can be offered.

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